The Garfield County Libraries are preparing to open — or more precisely, spruce up — a seventh branch. So where is it? Online, of course! For the past year the libraries have been planning a new website to better meet the needs of our ever-changing community. The biggest shift we’ve seen has been with mobile devices. The number of people using smartphones to access the library website has gone up 79 percent in the past year, while people using tablets on the site has increased 109 percent. Usage on mobile devices compared to 2011 (the current website was launched in fall 2010) is up 219 percent for smartphones and 15,196 percent for tablets. The new library website was built with responsive design techniques that allow it to adjust to any size screen, making it possible for everyone — no matter what tech they use — to enjoy digital library services 24 hours a day.
In 2012, the libraries launched an app, GCPLD 2 Go, that offered some services to mobile devices. The new website will replace the existing app by offering all of the services the current app provided and everything on the website, and it will be available on any device with a browser. The end result is that you won’t be limited to what you do online at the library because you are using a mobile device.
The new website will offer increased access to digital resources including eBooks, digital magazines and research databases. There will also be a new section including online courses where you can learn about almost anything. Access to some of these courses is paid for by the library, and some are free courses from top universities. The site will also include more booklists, some curated by librarians and some automatically updated, so that you can always see the newest items the library has for loan. Our most exciting events will be featured more prominently so you’ll never miss out on the great things going on at your branch library. The Kids section of the site has also been redesigned with resources now organized by age level to better aid parents and teachers in finding appropriate materials for the children in their lives. We’re also offering the Google Translate services as part of the website in order to provide greater access to our Spanish-speaking members.
You can check out the new library website at www.gcpld.org.